Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wicked Ways Without and Within

The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
but He loves those who pursue godliness.
~Proverbs 15:9

Life is a journey. To a large extent, where you go depends upon whom you follow.

Presently, many folks are following politicians—two in particular. Their reprehensible race to the bottom—the way of the wicked—is detestable, indeed.

But while it’s relatively easy to see the wicked ways of politics and the evil without; what about the sinfulness within? You know…that whole “plank in your own eye” thing of which Jesus warns.  

As I think about God detesting the way of the wicked, the prayer of Psalm 139 comes to mind:

Search me, O God, and know my heart . . . Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (v. 23,24)

Followers of Jesus don’t want anything in their hearts and minds to hinder intimacy with the Father. So, we offer our honest and vulnerable plea: search me, O God.

Things can creep into our hearts almost imperceptibly. We can—without due diligence—harbor things that God doesn’t like. Because God is holy and because He loves us immensely, He is displeased with anything in us that works against our or our neighbor’s good.

We need Him to point out these things to us. When He does so, we must immediately begin praying and working towards being rid of all He dislikes. I’m thinking about things such as anger, pride, self-will, envy, pettiness, bitterness, un-forgiveness, self-righteousness, and all “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21).

We’ll likely not eliminate all wrong things at once or once-and-for-all. Thus, our pursuit of godliness is a life-long expedition. As we pursue God, He lovingly and patiently leads us along the path of everlasting life. Notice, He does not drive us, but leads us; walks before and beside us like a shepherd.

And always remember: God doesn’t simply empty. He also fills. 

Dear reader, what would the Lord like to remove from your life today? Whatever it is, offer it to Him at once. You’ll be glad you did. 

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